Several Skytech employees recently had the privilege of being VIP guests for the rollout of the new PC-24 jet at the Pilatus factory in central Switzerland. When you are the oldest Pilatus Dealer in the world such an invitation is, I suppose, not too surprising. And, having been around Pilatus and the General Aviation industry for 34 years, we more or less knew what to expect.
Yet they still managed to exceed our expectations. Most new aircraft rollouts feature a dull green primer-coated airplane pulled by a tug and surrounded by some employees holding a banner. Our Swiss compatriots started their rollout with a parade of 75 still-operating antique tractors, all of which were built in Switzerland, representing Pilatus' 75-year heritage. An Airshow followed and featured representative examples of each aircraft that Pilatus has produced since 1939 - from the P2 to the super-sophisticated PC-21. Then, in front of about 25,000 people from all over Switzerland and every corner of the earth, they rolled out a bright, freshly-painted jet pulled by 24 horses from the Swiss Army. The symbolism was powerful, with the horses representing the jet's market position as a purpose-bred Swiss workhorse. In addition to some common systems, the PC-24 is destined - and designed - to earn the workhorse moniker that belongs to its much-smaller sibling, the PC-12.
Being in Switzerland in the summer, one is more or less obligated to take a peak at the Alps. If you ever get a chance to do so, take it with enthusiasm. And if you own or are thinking about owning a Pilatus product, what you will quickly surmise is that this country is very, very adept at building things. They seemingly never saw a mountain that they did not want to bore a hole through or into. Once in the mountain, they are known to build everything from high-altitude train stations to observatories to zip lines over glaciers. And they are a very precise group. The Swiss train system is probably unparalleled in the world and very nearly speaks for itself. It runs, and in many cases is coordinated by, the precision of their famous time pieces. Even their woodpiles are precise. You can travel from one end of the country to the other and every woodpile is cut and stacked exactly like the first one you see. It is apparent that precision is part of the Swiss culture.
It is also apparent that, if you are going to own an airplane, these are the people that you want to build it for you. And, at the risk of tooting our own horn a bit, Pilatus constructed a Dealer Network that pretty much thinks like they do. It is a dynamic combination and we are anxious to show you what a purpose-bred, jet-powered workhorse looks like.